How Does This Medicine Work?CellCept works by blocking the action of an enzyme in the body known as inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH). This enzyme is needed for T- and B-lymphocytes (cells that are part of the immune system) to multiply.
Transplant rejection occurs when the immune system, which is responsible for fighting infections, sees the transplanted organ as foreign material, and tries to get rid of it. By preventing the production of more T- and B-lymphocytes, CellCept makes the immune system less active, which can help prevent transplant rejection.
Is It Safe for Children to Use CellCept?CellCept is approved to prevent transplant rejection in children as young as three months old who have received a kidney transplant. It is not approved to prevent liver or heart transplant rejection in children, as it has not been adequately studied in children for these uses. Talk to your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using this medicine in children.
Can Older Adults Use It?Older adults can use this medicine. However, they may have an increased risk for CellCept side effects, including infections, an accumulation of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), and gastrointestinal bleeding (GI bleeding). Therefore, older adults should be closely monitored during treatment with this medicine.
Off-Label Uses for CellCeptOn occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend this medication for something other than the prevention of a transplant rejection after a kidney, heart, or liver transplant. This is called an "off-label" use. CellCept may sometimes be prescribed off-label to treat:
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (a disorder that causes abnormal clotting of the blood)
- Lupus nephritis (kidney inflammation caused by systemic lupus erythematosus)
- Kidney disease
- Atopic dermatitis
- Myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder).